Photo: La Zeta Noticias.com.mx
The mayor of the southwestern Mexican town of Tanhuato was killed Saturday morning outside his home, Michoacan state government officials told Efe.
Gustavo Garibay, a member of the conservative opposition National Action Party, or PAN, was gunned down while trying to climb into an armored SUV after leaving his house, they added, citing neighbors as saying the attackers fled in a white vehicle.
The state Attorney General’s Office, meanwhile, said on Twitter that shell casings of two different calibers were found at the scene and that it has launched an investigation.
PAN Chairman Gustavo Madero, who is seeking re-election, denounced the killing on behalf of his party and noted that Garibay had survived an attempt on his life in October 2012.
“We’re outraged because there’s no respect for life in Michoacan. There’s not the least amount of security and no guarantees so legitimately elected officials can do their work,” Madero said in the Pacific port city of Manzanillo.
He demanded that Michoacan Gov. Fausto Vallejo, of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, “investigate this homicide and get to the bottom” of what happened to ensure the impunity the PRI “has fostered does not continue.”
Local media reported that after the initial attempt on Garibay’s life the administration of then-President Felipe Calderon, a member of the PAN, offered him federal police protection.
That security detail was taken away, however, after the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto assumed the presidency in December 2012.
No arrests were made after the first attack targeting Garibay nor following the February 2013 killing of the general secretary of Tanhuato’s municipal government, Jose Pedro Cordoba Aguirre.
Violence linked to the Los Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) drug cartel and the spread of vigilante groups that sprang up to defend communities from organized crime prompted the federal government to launch a vast security operation in Michoacan this January.